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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => HistoryOfConcertSound.org => Topic started by: Liam Flaherty on January 16, 2013, 09:33:58 am

Title: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: Liam Flaherty on January 16, 2013, 09:33:58 am
Interested to hear about what you would consider the first live digital console and any early experiences.

Liam
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on January 16, 2013, 12:45:29 pm
My first recollection is a big TOA digital console but not exactly a touring or bar band product like now, with lower price points.

JR
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: Mac Kerr on January 16, 2013, 03:06:58 pm
Interested to hear about what you would consider the first live digital console and any early experiences.

Liam

Yamaha DMP-7 (http://www2.yamaha.co.jp/manual/pdf/pa/english/mixers/DMP7E.pdf) was the first commonly available live digital console I have used. I think it came out in 1987. After that it was the PM-1D which I think came out in 1999 or 2000. Digital had been in studios before this, and there may have been a few one off custom digital consoles used live, but the first motorized fader console I used was a DMP-7. Very early on there was a French console, I think called Sage, that was intriguing and may be the first place I saw a "selected channel area" where all the controls for a single channel were.

Mac
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: Andrew Broughton on January 16, 2013, 04:01:21 pm
The first fully-digital console was probably the Neve DSP-1, (1983) but it was a behemoth studio console, not live.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/56149271/Neve-DSP-Desk-Brochure-1983 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/56149271/Neve-DSP-Desk-Brochure-1983)

I'm sure there were other digital consoles created between '83 and '87, but maybe not anything that could really be portable or used live?
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: Liam Flaherty on January 16, 2013, 07:55:47 pm
The Neve DSP was indeed the first fully digital desk. It's interesting as there seems to be very little documented information about early live desks. I did think that Yamaha were the first to produce a commonly used console but wasn't sure exactly when.
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: brian maddox on January 16, 2013, 11:02:17 pm
I'm with Mac in that the DMP-7 was the first digital mixer I ever touched.  Usable live, but only 8 channels.  Still, the motorized faders were COOL. 

I knew the future of mixing was in digital comsoles in the early 90's, although few of my contemporaries seemed ready to embrace it.  in fact, I tried using a Yamaha 02r as a live desk when they came out, although it was certainly not designed to be used live.  If they hadn't doubled up the solo button with the channel mute, I might have kept using it as it was otherwise very usable live.  But having to use the channel on/off to cue something during a show just wigged me out too much.  Used the 03d when it came out as a small live desk as well.  Again, not its primary design function, but it worked.

(As an aside, I'm still using 2 Yamaha 02Rs at my church for Post Production.  pretty old school, but They still work just fine.  Yamaha knows how to build stuff to LAST.)

The PM1D is the first large format digital desk that i know of that was actually designed specifically for live sound use, although Innovason was an early player in the game.  I think their live desk may have come out before the PM1D, but they were pretty scarce in the states so I never saw one.  The Harrison ShowConsole was also in at about that time, but wasn't truly a digital desk. It was digitally controlled analog.

The Soundcraft 328 got used live when they first came out, notably here in the Washington DC area at the Wolf Trap center for the arts .  One catastrophic crash mid show put an end to that experiment.

I'd love to hear from some of our folks from outside the states to see if there were some offerings there that we never saw over here.
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: Philip Roberts on January 17, 2013, 01:58:32 am
I recall reading about a very early digital console used live for the summer theater show in Friedrichshafen Germany.

As I recall from the article I read it was large format (way more than 50 channels) and pretty much a custom job. Possibly TOA but I think it was some one else.

I don't recall the date other that it would have been before '97.

I did a bit of looking but can't re find the article I'm remembering.

Philip
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on January 17, 2013, 10:52:59 am

(http://www.toa.jp/assets/prf_img/ix9000.jpg)
TOA  ix-9000 was done in 1990 and installed in Vienna National Opera.

I don't recall ever hearing about a second unit.

Yamaha DMP7 has a date of 1986 so was before the TOA, and Yamaha was serious about the category.
(http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRz6lyGovOu7nhFNpInFvtrJnlGk5Ku0X6eSsPEUrV41YV5-Eycag)

JR



Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: gordonmcgregor on January 25, 2013, 02:16:46 pm
The Yamaha DMP was the first digital console that I saw over here, I remember the local Yammi dealer showing them off, they came in 2 flavors -Line level only and also one with  8 mic pre's,  the BBC Radiophonic Workshop had several in operation right up until they closed it.
I remember the 1st Innovason well though I think that was in the mid to late nineties. Roland had some early digital stuff as well but they strapped recorders onto them so you couldn't really use them live. I remember the Sage console showing up in trade magazines and flyers etc don't know if it got anywhere and I have a sneaking suspicion that the Innovason was developed from it. G
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: Mac Kerr on January 25, 2013, 06:56:23 pm
I remember the Sage console showing up in trade magazines and flyers etc don't know if it got anywhere and I have a sneaking suspicion that the Innovason was developed from it. G

The Sage console I played with looked a lot like the early Innovason IIRC. Does anyone know if it was ever built for sale?

Mac
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: duane massey on January 26, 2013, 02:16:39 am
Harrison console in a studio here in Houston. Early 80's, believe it was Inergy Studios. They were still learning how to use it when we went in and cut 2 songs.
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: Art Welter on January 26, 2013, 02:37:45 am
Harrison console in a studio here in Houston. Early 80's, believe it was Inergy Studios. They were still learning how to use it when we went in and cut 2 songs.
There were users of Harrison consoles making digital recordings "Early 80's ", but there were no digital Harrison consoles in the early '80's.
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: Rick Earl on January 26, 2013, 09:51:08 am
There were users of Harrison consoles making digital recordings "Early 80's ", but there were no digital Harrison consoles in the early '80's.
It was in  the late 80's early 90's that Harrison and AT&T / Lucent were working on a digital project.  AT&T had a digital core.  I don't recall seeing more than one prototype.
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on January 26, 2013, 10:04:19 am
It was in  the late 80's early 90's that Harrison and AT&T / Lucent were working on a digital project.  AT&T had a digital core.  I don't recall seeing more than one prototype.

I recall in the early days of Digital consoles that the inside joke was that the digital console customers were like the one fox being chased by fifty dogs in the fox hunt...  Many of those dogs gave up chasing the too few foxes along the way.

Yamaha was clearly serious about making a commercial product and kept chasing despite probably losing money in the early years.

JR
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: Rick Earl on January 26, 2013, 10:25:54 am
I found this:

<a href="http://www.thefreelibrary.com/MCA+RELEASES+FIRST+SINGLE+MIXED+USING+AT%26T%27S+DISQ+SYSTEM-a015140255">MCA RELEASES FIRST SINGLE MIXED USING AT&T'S DISQ SYSTEM</a>

I don't think it lasted long.  I remember getting to see a prototype on a Harrison with talk about it becoming a live solution too.

Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: Ivan Beaver on January 26, 2013, 02:15:57 pm
I found this:

<a href="http://www.thefreelibrary.com/MCA+RELEASES+FIRST+SINGLE+MIXED+USING+AT%26T%27S+DISQ+SYSTEM-a015140255">MCA RELEASES FIRST SINGLE MIXED USING AT&T'S DISQ SYSTEM</a>

I don't think it lasted long.  I remember getting to see a prototype on a Harrison with talk about it becoming a live solution too.
And the first digital recording was Flim and the BB's song Tricycle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flim_%26_the_BB%27s
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: duane massey on January 27, 2013, 05:32:54 pm
After doing some digging, it may have been an automated board, but not a true digital console. Harrison released the SeriesTen in 1985, but I'm not certain this was not a digital board, rather an analog board that used VCA's throughout.
I'll do some more digging just for my own curiosity, and I'm pretty certain it was not a digital board, but it was in '82 or '83. Maybe an MCI or ???? That was a long, long time ago, and we only spent 2-3 days on the project.
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: Mac Kerr on January 27, 2013, 07:01:36 pm
After doing some digging, it may have been an automated board, but not a true digital console. Harrison released the SeriesTen in 1985, but I'm not certain this was not a digital board, rather an analog board that used VCA's throughout.
I'll do some more digging just for my own curiosity, and I'm pretty certain it was not a digital board, but it was in '82 or '83. Maybe an MCI or ???? That was a long, long time ago, and we only spent 2-3 days on the project.

I doubt there was a digital Harrison that far back. Harrison was building a digitally controlled analog console, it might have been called the Harrison Live. They built the ShowCo ShowConsole, which was also digitally controlled analog.

Mac
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: Art Welter on January 28, 2013, 04:10:33 pm
And the first digital recording was Flim and the BB's song Tricycle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flim_%26_the_BB%27s

1977, Yanni went from the Flomer brothers band Archangel, (formerly US Pipe), to Chameleon.
Around 1980 Yanni recorded his first album at Sound 80 and Cookhouse, by that time I think a Sony PCM-3324 had already replaced the 3M prototype digital recorder used by Flim and the BB's.
Yanni managed to wrangle one of the early PCM-3324 from Sony for recording in his home studio.
Most of us in the industry at that time in Minneapolis were making (well) under $15,000 a year, to see one of our guys get a recorder that cost over 10 times that was amazing.

I remember Rob Colby showing me the Yamaha DMP7 used for keys around 1987 at Prince's Paisley Park soundstage.
First time I'd ever seen faders move by themselves while sober…

Art
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on January 28, 2013, 04:34:57 pm


First time I'd ever seen faders move by themselves while sober…

Art
\

Doggone drunken faders, anyhow......
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: kristianjohnsen on January 28, 2013, 06:31:36 pm
I doubt there was a digital Harrison that far back. Harrison was building a digitally controlled analog console, it might have been called the Harrison Live. They built the ShowCo ShowConsole, which was also digitally controlled analog.

Mac

Is it just me or does the ShowCo ShowConsole surface look a lot like the CS1D?
Title: Re: What was the first live digital console?
Post by: Art Welter on January 29, 2013, 11:25:08 am
Is it just me or does the ShowCo ShowConsole surface look a lot like the CS1D?
The format for almost all large consoles followed the analog equivalent for a while regardless of what was "under the hood".
The CS1D was a departure from the PM 2000 (and Midas desks of the era) right hand sub master layout to the more ergonomic, generally preferred center master section.
Yamaha was quite interested in the USA market, and followed many leads, bringing to large scale production what was only a cottage industry here.